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Sharpen Up: November 3, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The Sabres hung on last night for a win in Arizona. Up 5-1 in the third, the Coyotes stormed back to make it 5-4, but Buffalo was able to close the door and pick up two points. 

Benoit Pouliot had a big game with two goals and his line with Ryan O'Reilly and Kyle Okposo had a positive impact. Robin Lehner made 25 saves. 

Here's what you need to know.


About last night

Video: Pouliot, Okposo lead offensive charge in 5-4 victory

From the Lexus Postgame Report by Jourdon:

It ended up coming down to the very last second, but once their game against the Arizona Coyotes had drawn to its conclusion the Buffalo Sabres were simply happy to be leaving Gila River Arena with a victory on Thursday night. 

Video: Housley Postgame Interview at Arizona

Make no mistake, the Sabres are aware of the areas in their game that they need to clean up. Phil Housley said his team started like they hadn't played in four days (they hadn't), and players felt they took their foot off the pedal to allow Arizona to storm back from a 5-1 deficit in the last eight minutes.

Video: POSTGAME: Pouliot with Rayzor

But the result - a 5-4 win for the Sabres - was what mattered most in the end.

 "It was a big win for us, but still a few things we've got to work on," goalie Robin Lehner said. "A lot of open chances, a bunch of breakaways. It's something we've got to work on. But we've got to build off this win. I thought we did a lot of good things offensively."

Video: Okposo: Postgame Interview at ARI

Griffith scored on a 3-on-1 rush before the end of the second period, Kane scored shorthanded to open the third and then Pouliot's second goal of the night gave them a 5-1 lead with 8:48 remaining. 

Video: Griffith: Postgame Interview at ARI

Then, the comeback began.

"I don't think we panicked," Pouliot said. "Maybe we just thought the game was over before it was over."

Rinaldo scored less than a minute after Pouliot's second goal to make it 5-2. Less than two minutes after Rinaldo's goal, Cousins crashed the net and scored on a rebound. The Coyotes finally came within one when Dvorak scored with 51.7 seconds remaining, prompting an Arizona timeout. 

Video: Lehner: Postgame Interview at ARI

Through it all, Lehner said the Sabres never felt panicked on the ice. They finally sealed the victory when Johan Larsson cleared a loose puck from the crease in the game's dwindling seconds.

"I just thought we needed to bear down and make the right decisions," Housley said. "We got away from what made us successful and we shot ourselves in the foot, but obviously we'll take the win."


On tap today

The Sabres will practice in Dallas today as the get set to take on the Stars tomorrow. Jourdon and Dan are on the scene so stay tuned for full coverage.

Road Crew presented by Delta Airlines and supported by Dave and Adam's is also happening tonight in Dallas, starting at 6 p.m. local time. Tickets can be purchased at the door of Parlay Sports Club (3309 McKinney Ave., Dallas, TX 75204). Tickets are $10 each, with all proceeds benefiting the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.


Military Appreciation Night set for next Friday

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team will hold its annual Military Appreciation Game on Friday, Nov. 10 against the Florida Panthers at KeyBank Center. The annual event is dedicated to honoring both current and former members of our nation's armed forces and will feature several tributes throughout the night.

The first 15,000 fans in attendance will receive a Sabres-themed military dog tag.

As a salute to the military, Sabres players will wear special camouflage jerseys during warm-ups. The jerseys will be auctioned on from Wednesday, Nov. 8 starting at 5 p.m. to Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m., and proceeds will benefit the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, which consistently supports veterans programs.

Sabres alternate captains Ryan O'Reilly and Zach Bogosian will donate a suite to members of the Coast Guard for the game. Those Coast Guard members will be invited down for a meet-and-greet with the players following the game.

The Sabres will also donate more than 200 tickets and an additional five suites to military organizations. Sabres players will also do a meet-and-greet with children of military families after their morning skate, families will also be invited to the game. 

The Sabres will offer all active, reserve, National Guard and retired military personnel the opportunity to purchase tickets in the Buffalo Creek 300 Level for $25.

These tickets can be ordered here at

Military members will also receive a 25 percent discount at the Sabres Store the day of the game. 

Before the game, the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station will display military vehicles in Alumni Plaza. The Blue Aces Air Force band will play pre-game in the 100 level pavilion and lead singer, Christina Bagley, will perform the anthems.

The Buffalo Sabres Foundation is sponsoring a Sabres Military Appreciation trip to Washington D.C. With help from Veterans One-Stop Center, the Sabres will be taking four veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to tour the Washington D.C. monuments and Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, Nov. 6th. Accompanying the veterans on the trip will be Sabres alumni Danny Gare and Rene Robert. Sabres players will visit the Coast Guard Station on Furhmann Boulevard after practice on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

The Buffalo Sabres Foundation will also be donating $7,500 to the Buffalo Blues Benefit for Veterans at the Cove on Saturday, Nov. 25 from 8-9 p.m. Sabres alumni will be in attendance for the benefit. Tickets to the benefit are $10 at the door and more information can be found at All proceeds for the Buffalo Blues Benefit for Veterans will go to the WNY Veterans Housing Coalition

In addition to Military Appreciation Night, the Sabres are hosting two programs throughout the 2017-18 season to honor local military members. Matt Moulson will continue to host a veteran each home game with free seats as part of the Tickets for Troops program. The Original Pizza Logs are also donating tickets and honoring a local veteran on the ice during the national anthems at each home game.

Military members can sign up for the programs at here.


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